Kissings Out of Fashion

Friday night’s drive back to East Sussex was nowhere near as bad as I had anticipated.
Jim drove my little red car home and I collected my mother in his. It’s smoother, sleeker, more comfortable for an 88 year old passenger and I drive it slower since its his…
I made up the spare room and she settled down to sleep whilst we settled down for Johnathan Ross and Jules Holland.
Mr. Ross was okay but the bands on Mr. Holland were piss poor. Sorry when four lads get together and twang around on guitars without a thought for their audience I get lost in reveries of what music used to be like. And as for young girls who stand up in front of them and caterwaul their way into the charts it doesn’t so much make my blood boil as set it on a rolling simmer, why get too worked up over it? Bring back melody.
Do you think I am getting old….

I bought two pairs of Nike Free 3 trainers from the Nike Direct website. As they are an endangered species its hard to track down a pair in the UK.
On Saturday morning I drove out to Tonbridge, located Parcel Direct, and signed for my package from China. Yep, there they were, four little shoes nestled in crumpled paper and battered boxes.
Got them home and lifted them out. Just before The Uk came last in the Eurovision Wrong Contest I decided to try on my new foot-ware. Shock horror – no not that we came last with Mr. Waterman’s song – but the buggers had sent me the wrong size. What is hard to understand? ‘4.5’ does not look anywhere like ‘3’ which ever continent you live on. I now have $132 worth of trainer waiting to be shipped back to Shanghai – I am prepared for a showdown. I felt like the ugly sister trying to fit my fat foot in a tiny shoe, only my fat foot is tiny compared to most, although I have to concede that my little foot looks massive next to Vera Wang, but Wang or no Wang they got it wong.
Saturday morphed into Sunday and I cooked Guinea Fowl with roasted root vegetables in maple syrup, new potatoes tossed in butter and mint from the garden for them, and an assortment of salads for me.
Jim took my mother home late on Sunday as he was rehearsing today.
I sat in the armchair and blubbed. I know we have a lovely life but there I was on my own again only this time I was in the cottage and he was in London.
I was talked down by two girlfriends and I felt the grip of the black dog’s claws loosen a bit.
I had to learn to live with my solitude since thats what I needed to do after being in London all week, said one friend; climb in the car and then you’ll know what you want to do said the other. Do some housework that’ll shake you up, said the first, if you can’t enjoy your own cottage then you really have to take stock, said the second.
I took the vacuum cleaner to the top of the house, cleaned the attic stairs, deconstructed the bathroom, sucked up thirteen years of dust from under the spare bed and completely spruced up the carpet down into the sitting room. Polished the piano, dusted the mantelpiece plumped up the armchairs and frightened the cat as I whooshed into the kitchen and under the dresser. By 10.00 p.m I was ready to sit down in front of the television. The cottage looked spick and span and felt like my home again. It had been neglected and looked as sad as I felt.
I didn’t want to un-plump the armchairs so I lounged in a bean bag, ate a grapefruit and watched ‘Night at The Museum’ with Ben Stiller and a lot of silly animated animals. Bee phoned mid film so I lip-read Ben as Bee talked about getting caught out in the shower and having to go to Dalston to buy some electricity with wet hair and streaming mascara. Whatever my evening had been like hers was ever so slightly more uncomfortable.
My new clean, white sheets were a joy to sleep in and I did right through until 9 a.m.
The tumble drier has conked out and the light fell out of its socket on the cooker so I have two jobs that have to be paid for as the old man is off on tour on Saturday and won’t be back until the end of June. Ireland, and Norway with a travelling bag and band of actors can’t be bad eh? Although I know he’ll miss his home comforts so I need to find an electrical wizard before he gets home…
I put on a pair of white and red heart trousers. ‘GAP’ pj’s that always get good comments, a gold starred t-shirt – I literally mean a t-shirt covered in gold stars – and an orange anorak. I decided to walk a walk I haven’t done since Jackson died I think it’s nearly three years ago!
The ground was cracked, the grass was green. I trekked in my Timberland boots, expecting it to be muddy, but the ground was hard and dry and Ellison Pond as low and dank as I have ever seen it.
I got to Friends Clump and read about the ditches and ‘pales’ that were created to let the deer in and stop them getting out so that the Royal Berks could hunt them down. The Ashdown Forest is the largest open space in the South East, and is full of wonderful wild life.
i was accompanied by a gentle South Easterly wind and the continual call of the cuckoos. The mud was a white, yellow and the local natives were out in force, although I chose to take a longer detour which was up a steep hill most people had abandoned it . I said ‘hello’, or ‘hi’, to my fellow walkers, and by the time I got back to where I started I said ‘Happy Bank Holiday’ to a gang of elders with their family.’I love your trousers.’ said the leader of the pack.
There you are, I thought, I’ll put that in the blog.
The gorse was just popping its coconutty, scented, yellow flowers and I remembered Cicerly Mary Barker’s poem that I used to sing to Bee when she was a baby.
‘When Gorse is out of blossom then kissing’s out of fashion.’
Jumped in the car, was turned away from two tea shops as they wouldn’t accept my switch cards only cash and sulked back into the twillage.
I shopped for food to take back to the flat.
Had a long bath, then jumped in the shower to cool off, packed my car and set off back to Londinium.
It took me one hour and thirty minutes and Jim arrived from rehearsal at the same time. We unloaded and, thank God for Gorse, as the old man hugged me and we had a very fashionable kiss in the car park.
Who said romance was not dead?

3 thoughts on “Kissings Out of Fashion”

  1. Dear Jenni
    I suppose we have to accept we are getting oldish, as I cannot abide the modern music hich seems to consist of a single phrase repeated over and over again! What happened to songs which made a statement, told a story or simply revered love? Now its just repetition and grinding hips, I’m old!

  2. Beautiful blog, Jeni. Your words always make things so visible. Tangible, almost. The ditches, the dried ground, the dodgy band, the gorse all come to life through your writing. It’s a rare gift you have. I’m glad you let us share it.
    I get your point about melody. I was listening to a Marta Agerich c.d. yesterday and Mozarts andante with 5 variations simply cancelled everything else going on around me. Such a simple melody, but woven with such joy and delight. Not to mention exacting precision!

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